Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, a weekly writing meme where we breathe in the moments that paint a picture of the grander scheme. All moments are welcome in this space — small or large, as community is just as important as the grander awareness brought on by searching for a bigger picture every week.
I have always wanted to be a runner. There seems to be a freedom in running – the breeze blowing around you, the repetitive sounds of your feet hitting the pavement – running seemingly provides a momentary escape from the pressure of the world around you.
Two years ago, I was in the middle of transforming myself into a runner. I was nearing the end of Couch to 5K training plan and was a mere two weeks away from my first 5K run. And then I got injured.
Two X-ray, 1 MRI, and a few cortisone shots later, I was able to finish the race. But my knee was extremely inflamed, and my doctor advised me to take a few months off from my new found hobby.
Those few months became years. Recently, I have once again felt the urge to run. To lace up my shoes, pick a route, and just run. But my body is two years older, and has undergone changes sense then – namely given birth to a child. So once again I am following the Couch to 5K training plan.
On Monday, I was in the middle of the first day of the 4th week of the program. My training plan called for a 5 minute warm up walk, followed by a 3 minute run, a 90 second walk, then a 5 minute run, followed by a 2.5 minute walk – all of which is repeated a second time. The first set was hard – I struggled to maintain my pace, and my legs felt heavy. Three minutes into my 2nd 3 minute run, I was feeling great. I was experiencing the elusive “runners high”, so I though – I think I’ll just keep running. So I ran for another minute and then another.
My training partner looked me and said “Aren’t you suppose to walk now?”
“Nah, I am feeling good – and besides the walking segments are boring. I am just going to run the rest of the time.”
And my plan worked for a moment. And then my lungs began to feel as they were on fire. I couldn’t breathe properly. My lack of breathe lead to a cramp in my side that finally forced me to stop my workout.
Later that night as I lay on my living room floor attempting to stretch out my sore muscles, I though about my run. I realized that I had gotten so focused on the end result – RUNNING – that I had desired to abandon my training plan.
It’s something that happens to me in other areas of my life. I become so consumed with the end result, that I often miss the small steps that I need to take — and often wind up costing myself more time.
So in the coming week, I am going to follow my training plan to the letter. And in the other areas of my life, I am going to focus on the completing the small steps that will get me to my end result.